I’ve been meaning to write a post about how Microsoft Office OneNote has improved my productivity, but really, who has the time? OK, sorry no more of that. Today, Microsoft announced that the Office OneNote iPhone app will be free for a limited time. (It was published to the Canadian app store last week). Now I can use the same TODO list on my PC, online and on my phone--all nicely synchronized.
I only recently became a devoted OneNote user. I know, I know… What took me so long? Well, I don’t have a great excuse. When I tried the first OneNote Beta build, it wasn’t able to create tables—obviously, it had far fewer features than the current release—but the inability to create tables was a deal breaker for me. Since then, I’ve seen a flood of people adopt OneNote and sing its praises. I often questioned if I was missing out, but I kept holding back. I’m a big Outlook fan and I just kept using Outlook for everything. E-mail, appointments, reminders… Why not keep notes in there as well? That’s what I did, but lately my inbox was getting the best of me and despite my best efforts, I could use some help. (I wrote about managing my Outlook inbox in my post, Don’t be an E-mail Hoarder–Improve Your Outlook Productivity.)
So what was I waiting for? It turns out that the killer feature for me was the ability to use Windows Live SkyDrive to synchronize my OneNote notebooks across multiples machines and the OneNote Web App. And, of course, as of today, my phone as well.
For me, the ability to share OneNote notebooks effortlessly across devices is a game changer. I can make notes at work, update them online and then when I grab my laptop, I can rest assured that it will update automatically when I go online. The cloud-based synchronization also means that my notebooks are automatically backed up for me—a hard drive crash isn’t going to mean any note data loss at all. The fact that SkyDrive, the OneNote web app, and the iPhone app are all free is a nice bonus.
If you’re still not sold on OneNote, take a look at the OneNote blog post about using OneNote notebooks to plan a vacation.
- Use the Office Web Apps version of OneNote to work with your notebooks online.
I’m happy that I finally took the time to investigate what OneNote can do and I don’t see myself giving up this excellent productivity tool. If nothing else, it will as least give my Outlook inbox a bit of a break.